So today I fully intended a happy fun Christmassy like post then I made the mistake of surfing over to CNN. I just read the article regarding Obama’s choice for the inaugural invocation. He has chosen Rick Warren. Please read the article, the link is below:
God damn it. I am thoroughly offended by this! It’s a slap in the face really. So Linda Douglass is quoted in the article saying, “”“The president-elect certainly disagrees with him on [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] issues,” Douglass said. “But it has always been his goal to find common ground with people with whom you may disagree on some issues.”” Obviously, he doesn’t disagree with him enough to find his opposition to gay marriage offensive. It very well may be true, regarding finding common ground with people who disagree on some issues but I’m not some issue nor are my rights.
What people fail to recognize is that my rights are not a bargaining chip. It isn’t common ground that should be disagreed on, Obama should be championing for our rights. I’ve come terms with the concept that gay rights are not number one on the agenda (and I hate to admit it because in my mind gay rights should be a high priority unfortunately it’s not shaping up to be that way). Fine, let’s fix the economy, let’s get out of this war, but remember there were a ton of gay men and women who voted to put Obama into office then he goes off and makes this kind of choice for invocation. It’s like a big F*** You!
I love the fact that Linda Douglass defends the choice to saying, ““This is going to be the most inclusive, open, accessible inauguration in American history.”” Please, really? Do you really believe that, as a gay man, I want to go to the inauguration of our President who chose a man, who does not support gay marriage or gay rights, to do the invocation. Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture? It shows a disconnect with the gay community.
What people don’t understand is the symbolism that his choice holds. It is symbolic acquiescence to the religious right. Remember when I posted several months ago and said that I wanted someone in office that would champion rights 100%, this choice shows me Obama’s not the person for it. I can’t have someone with a luke warm attitude towards my rights in office, and this just shows me that my rights are part of a political agenda. Instead of standing up for us gays (who many touted with rainbow colored pins with his logo) he chose to try and united political parties, which in my mind was a political move (plain and simple as that). If Obama can’t see what it means to have this man swear him into office then my biggest fears are being recognized.
It just pisses me off to think that Obama chose a man who not only opens supports Prop. 8 but also champions pro-life (for all you ladies out there that are pro choice).
I decided to take a little spin around Obama’s website and found the following quote from Obama,
“While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It’s about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect.”
“Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us…” well I feel exploited.
What upsets me is that fact that all my friends were all over Obama. He had a heavy college aged constituency and I happen to hang out with a lot of college aged people. I hate the fact that they were upset over the fact that I liked Clinton. They were stunned that I didn’t jump onto the Obama bandwagon. But I don’t think they fully understand what its like to compromise your rights for a politician or a political agenda. I hate the fact that I had a friend tell me Obama was the best that I had at the moment and that I had to look at the greater good for the U.S. (She meant this in a good way meaning one more advocate in office is better than no advocate at all…ahem McCain/Palin). Greater good my ass…you see where the greater good is getting me right now. I’m upset that the gay community was so quick to support Obama. He was championed so quickly by our community to deliver on gay rights and civil unions (which should be marriages) that now instead of delivering he is more apt. to unite political parties. It isn’t the fact that the LGBT community supported him that upsets me, it’s the possibility that we could be disappointed by him. I view my rights as not a political stepping stone. So when he says he wants to deliver on “equality by treating all citizens with dignity and respect” perhaps he shouldn’t have picked Rick Warren to do the invocation.
I’d like to post script this by saying I can’t fault the gay community for supporting Obama. It is exciting to think that we might have someone in office that is a champion of gay rights (even though gay rights include marriage and not civil unions). What I think, though, is that we have to ask a lot of our political people we chose to support. We can’t just support someone when they say they support gay rights, we need to expect them to follow though. The reason for this is so that those newspapers, gay community supporters, etc. that endorse, endorse, endorse aren’t shocked when something like this happens.
I’d like to close with this quote from Andrew Sullivan in the article, ““[It’s] shrewd politics, but if anyone is under any illusion that Obama is interested in advancing gay equality, they should probably sober up now.”” It’s a scary quote and I hope he’s wrong, but I have to question is this the start of something, beginning with Rick Warren, that will only serve to disappoint the gay community later down the line?